The meme itself originates with Richard @ The Humpo Show. I've tweaked it though in that I am doing it over the course of 6 days instead of as one single post. Today is day 4.
- “All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?
- “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?
- “It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has most festive look to it?
- Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?
- The Grinch | Your favourite villain…
- The Holiday | Name your favourite TWO couples…
What book unleashes your inner child?
There was definitely one single book that first came to mind as an answer to this question. Once I stopped and sat down to think about it though I was able to pinpoint five books that never fail to bring out my inner child and/or transport me back to my childhood. Realistically, and Angie will confirm this, my inner child is never really NOT unleashed, I have a very high level of enthusiasm for pretty much everything which I definitely attribute to my inner child. Therefore with the exception of very serious books I tend to experience some level of an unleashed inner child. For example I'm up to page 126 in Forest of Ruin and I've squealed and clapped no less than a dozen times already. These five selection though never fail to get my inner child going, and also bring back fond childhood memories.
1. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This is the book that first popped to mind when thinking of this question. My mum started reading me these before I even started kindergarten if memory serves correctly. She gave me the hardcover copies that she'd had since the 1970s (the cover of which you see to the left), and I read this one (or had her read it to me) so often that by the time I had to buy another copy of the whole series because I didn't want to ruin these copies. Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter were such a big part of my childhood, their adventure was definitely always one of my favourite stories. I mentioned on Monday in my Musing Monday post how often I borrowed the VHS copy of BBC's The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe from the library. So re-reading this book now it never fails to bring back all those memories and the childlike wonder that I've always felt for Narnia. Lucy was one of my biggest heroes as a kid, and I still admire her now. My desktop wallpaper at home for the last couple of years has been a custom one I made myself. It's a screen capture of Lucy on the prow of the Dawn Treader from Voyage of the Dawn Treader to which I added the quote "When you grow up you should be just like you." because how could you not find that statement empowering? It's a more modern way of saying Shakespeare's "To thine own self be true."
If you've never read the Narnia books because you're not interested in the Christian allegories - just pretend they don't exist, read it as a fantasy novel, if you do that then it's magical and wonderful.
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Obviously, given my age, this is not a book from my childhood, I didn't read it for the first time until 2001 at which point I was a teenager. But like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe Harry's first adventure (and indeed all of his adventures really) always speak to my inner child engaging the same sense of wonder that Narnia always does. I am a self proclaimed Potterhead, one who spends every day thinking about Harry Potter for at least a few hours given that Angie and I do enjoy roleplaying our HP AU together. So I spend a lot of time having Harry and friends prodding my inner child merrily and I wouldn't change that for anything. Harry and his whole world are just so much fun and so magical.
Given just how popular Harry Potter is around the world, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that there are definitely a lot of other people who would also happily say this book as an answer to this question. I think the sense of community created by the Harry Potter fandom goes just as far in unleashing our in children as the book does. Seriously, what's more childlike and enjoyable than getting to completely geek out over something you love with other people who love it just as much as you do?
I know I said that all 7 books bring out my inner child, but Philosopher's Stone is probably the one out of all of them that brings out my inner child the most. The later ones less so given how dark they get.
3. Any Alice in Wonderland Story, Adaption or Re-telling - case in point The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alice and her adventures are another familiar story from my childhood, something that I grew up with. And like Lucy in Narnia, Alice and her curiosity have always been near and dear to me. The nonsense and wonder of Wonderland always engages my imagination and gets it working overtime - which is something my inner child absolutely love. I am all about imagination. Alice in Wonderland is among my top five favourite Disney films. You mention Alice anything to me and I am all over it. So the minute that I see any form of Alice adaptation or re-telling I am all over it. One I really love is SyFy's Alice - they cast Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter which has given me a probably unhealthy crush on the Mad Hatter now since 99% of the time he is not Andrew Lee Potts. But Potts just plays him so well.
I'm supposed to be telling you about book adaptations of Alice that bring out my inner child though. So in addition to The Looking Glass Wars other ones I enjoyed great are: Queen of Hearts: The Crown by Colleen Oakes, Alys by Kiri Callaghan, and the first book of A.G. Howard's Splintered series, Splintered, but only the first book the other two provoked rage to the nth degree which retroactively poisoned my good feelings towards Splintered.
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The first time I read this book I actually had it read to me, it was in my grade 4 class so I was about 9. I had the BEST teacher in grade 4, Mr. McNaught, he lead the entire school on a march around the block to his bagpipes at the end of every school year, but even more awesome he read to us for 45 minutes every day. And even better he read to us well and even did different voices for the characters. He read all sorts of things to us. Mr. McNaught's reading skills are the reason that to this day I cannot enjoy The Hobbit when I read it myself because he just read it to us so well that it doesn't compare. He read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to us well too! So well that I can't NOT hear the voice he used for Grandpa Joe anytime I re-read it. Whenever I do re-read this I can't help but feel like a kid again, like I'm back in my grade four classroom listening to Mr. McNaught read it out loud to us.
My copy of this book is well loved because I do go back and re-read it every few years. I think of of the best ways to bring out your inner child is to read the books that bring you back to your childhood. Because if you keep in touch with the fond memories you have from childhood your inner child will stay close to the surface and be with you more often than not.
If you've never read this one, you really should :)
5. Any and all Archie Comics publications like Archie: Rockin' the World by Dan Parent, Frank Doyle and George Gladir
I think that most kids get into comics at one point or another. For me it was always Archie comics. I would get a new one at least once a month. And I would devour them, and re-read them until they fell apart. I amassed quite the collection. When Angie came to visit in 2007 she was kind of blown away by the amount of them floating around my house, but by the end of that visit I had converted her into an Archie reader. Now my collection is slightly smaller because over the years I've mailed her the ones that I had lost interest in from re-reading them so many times.
Archie and friends bring nothing but fond memories to mind, so whenever I pick up an issue my inner child squeals with delight and they never fail to make me laugh and smile. No matter how many times I may have re-read an issue (I'm serious I've got dozens of them memorized).
This particular issue, Archie : Rockin' the World is a fairly recent release from 2014. I actually won my copy from Goodreads which pleased me greatly. In this comic Archie and friends go on a world tour with their band the Archies, and of course Archie has a different girlfriend in each city. He wouldn't be Archie if he didn't. My inner child LOVED that part of the book took place in Canada.